Under Fire Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What interests Volpatte the most while the men are on leave?

2. What does Cocon calculate about the squad?

3. How does Lamuse return to the trench after helping the sappers?

4. How do the men respond when asked to describe life on the front?

5. Where are the survivors of Bertrand's squad sent for their leave?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author makes it a point to center the narrative spotlight on a number of inexplicable or irrational actions on the part of the French army and its officers. The army does much that makes little sense, and this tends to reinforce the theme of hopeless and pointless waste.

Part 1) Describe some examples of actions on the part of the French army and its officers that seems to make little sense.

Part 2) Explain the reaction of the men of Bertrand's squad to this irrationality. Cite specific examples of these reactions and explain their significance.

Part 3) Speculate as to the reasoning behind some of these unexplained or mysterious actions. Could there be well-founded explanations for some of these behaviors? In the case of actions with no apparent explanation, speculate about how such an action became sanctioned and approved by the military.

Essay Topic 2

There are only a handful of times in the novel that the French and German soldiers come into peaceful contact, but these events are remarkable during war, and they stand out in the novel.

Part 1) Describe at least two scenes in the novel when French and German soldiers come into contact with one another without attempting to kill one another. Explain why the peaceful contact occurs.

Part 2) What do the French and German soldiers discuss when they are in contact? Are they still enemies? Why or or why not?

Part 3) Explain some of the themes of the novel elucidated by this type of contact.

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the novel, many opinions of the poilus are articulated indirectly. The perspective always stays with the men of Bertrand's squad and almost always with the narrator, but through the experiences of these men, the perceptions of many other people towards the poilus becomes clear.

Part 1) Explain how the poilus, and particularly groups like Bertrand's squad, who have spent a great deal of time in the trenches, are perceived by the more active forces, such as other formations that are on the march, or the Moroccan Division.

Part 2) Describe the shirker's attitudes towards the poilus. How are these attitudes shaped by the shirker's own failures and vices?

Part 3) Explain how the civilians and journalists see the poilus. How are these perceptions shaped by this group's desire to support the war?

(see the answer keys)

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